Is My Blog a Failure?

    c_505w-welcome-to-tanas-worldFor years I’d jokingly laughed about how much better things are according to “Tana’s World.” Intrigued with the idea of both spewing forth and leaving my mark (plus wanting to both write and doodle) I began to blog under that name. Originally I’d hoped to dispense “words of wisdom” and offer insight … perhaps even tools or a roadmap to help others as they muddled on through. I quickly realized I was in the process of muddling myself. That said, the best I could do was share experiences.

    There was one problem. I’m not really good about opening up or sharing. (Just ask the Love of My Life.) Looking over some of the earlier posts, I note that while I wasn’t exactly pontificating, I was “trying” too hard. (For the record, the LoML has shown me how time and time again the only thing I’ve gained by “trying” is tripping myself up. It’s when I stop “trying” and simply allow myself to “be” that things start coming together. One of those Zen like dichotomies … sort of like when you let go, things come your way. lol)

    Somewhere along the line, someone mentioned I needed to insert a bit more of myself into the blog posts. (Welcome all yea SNOGs [shoulds, need-to’s, oughtas and gottas] to Tana’s World — not.) Of course, I “tried.” (Always figure others know more than me.) Egads and yikes. I was so frustrated with twisting myself up in knots, I finally shut down and went off the grid for over a year.

    I came back. Why? I can’t answer. Though I’ve looked diligently, the blog doesn’t seem to have a direction.

    Though I packed up, drove country, moved onto a houseboat, later a sailboat, then started cruising, this isn’t a blog about any of that.

    I’ve become a baker of sourdough bread (recently adding sourdough English muffins to my repertoire), a brewer of Kombucha, a fermented food maker (sauerkraut, cauliflower, sweet onions, apples and carrots, etc.), buttermilk (yum!) — all on a 45-foot sailboat — this isn’t a blog about any of that.

    While having so much fun with the bells and whistles laden digital single-reflex camera the LoML gifted me this past birthday, Photoshop, and adding doodles to the mix (among other things), this isn’t a blog about that.

    Even though I practice yoga regularly on a 45-foot sailboat, both outside on the foredeck, inside the upper salon, in the pit, and pretty much anywhere on the boat, this isn’t a blog about that.

    As a technologically-challenged person, this is definitely not a blog about that.

    c_504w-success-or-failureAnd yet here I am writing another post. (Posts which have been all over the place.) Still there have been two constants throughout: 1) There has always been at least one doodle and, 2) I’ve always tried to find something positive in a given situation. Hope. Encouragement. Laughter. Whimsy.

    By all measures, this blog is a failure. It doesn’t have a genre or specific category, a large following, businesses wanting to advertise on it. The SNOGs rambling around in my head had me feeling the pain of being a failure — until recently.

    Lorelei James wrote, “I’d rather live with failure than live with regret.” That got me thinking about my blog.

    c_506w-no-regrets-or-failureBy blogging I put myself out there. Yes. And while there haven’t been hordes of followers, there have been a few who were encouraged. Who feel better for having read something I wrote, for having smiled at a doodle, for enjoying a photo or doodle-tog I shared. There have even been moments when I’m surprised to find I’ve encouraged myself. Given myself the cheering on necessary to move forward. To try something new. There have been special moments when my darlin’ twenty-something has been moved by something I wrote.

    What the future holds, I know not. Whether or not the blog continues and in what form is not of import. What is of import is that thanks to Ms. James’ quote, I’m excited to say that when it comes to my blog, I’m not living with either regret or failure. And that my friends, is huge!

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    Sydney Avey - October 5, 2016 - 9:30 am

    I knew there was a reason I have followed your blog for so many years. The list of blogs I follow is very short. I am tired of advice, weary of advertising, and overwhelmed by appeals. The world is in great need of hope. Your contribution is a glass of water to those who thirst; Your dash of whimsy, a delight. Glad you have not left us wondering what happened to you. (A doodle of you doing yoga on a boat would be fun!).

    Peace be with you.

    Tana Bevan - October 5, 2016 - 9:43 am

    Sydney, Wow! Thank you for your kind and eloquent words. Means a lot to me. I like the idea of a yoga on the boat doodle. Be interesting to see if such a doodle makes an appearance. Your comment has me sitting on anchor as we await Hurricane Matthew with a smile on my face and good cheer in my heart. Thank you. *smiles*

    Janet - October 5, 2016 - 10:45 am

    I am glad you want to continue your blog. Whenever a notification of a new post of Tana”s World appears in my Inbox, I am eager to read it. I know there will be some thoughtful reflections on some aspect of life as we all live it. I like that you post “now and then”; it’s always a pleasant surprise! Posting too often and too much about what you are doing could get old fast. Write when you have something you just have to share and let it be real. That’s all. :)

    Tana Bevan - October 5, 2016 - 12:32 pm

    Janet, I am so glad my blog appears to be a Good Thing and Little Happy for you. You sharing that has added to my good cheer as I watch the skies darken and await Matthew’s rain and wind. *hugs*

    Star - October 5, 2016 - 3:56 pm

    Your blog is an important part of my world, Tana.
    Sydney and Janet say it very well.
    Tana’s World can be fun, insightful, irreverent and more, all in turn. It is, indeed, a reflection of you, dear friend.
    I love the saying, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” You are learning to dance, and your blog helps others learn it, too.
    That said, stay safe in the storm. Matthew looks ominous.

    Tammy - October 5, 2016 - 5:19 pm

    Nothing is a failure that gives us pleasure. So what if you don’t have thousands of followers. You give solace and happiness to those who follow you. Far from a failure in my book, missy! Keep on writing!

    Tana Bevan - October 5, 2016 - 8:06 pm

    Star, I am both honored and flattered to be a part of your world. As for dancing in the rain, plenty of chance for that when Hurricane Matthew passes by. The boat is fully stocked, water tanks full, two anchors holding us in place, and fresh sourdough bread is just now cooling. *hugs*

    Tana Bevan - October 5, 2016 - 8:09 pm

    Tammy, You are quick with words of praise and encouragement. Thank you my friend. A writing and a doodling I continue to go. (Even tossing in an occasional photograph and/or doodle-tog. *smiles*)

    Sheila Bergquist - October 6, 2016 - 3:24 am

    Tana, your blog is very interesting and fun. I have followed it for a long time and hope you continue to do it. I feel the same way about my blog…it is not a “success” and I have been hit with such intense anxiety again in the past two years or so that I haven’t even written a post in way too long. But I hope to again soon and it makes me feel good to do it. Your blog is a success if you enjoy doing it…please keep on with it!

    Tana Bevan - October 6, 2016 - 11:13 am

    Sheila, That you feel good when you write a blog post is wonderful. Here’s hoping you allow yourself the joy of feeling good. (Hard to do at times, but well worth the effort when you can.)

    As for my blog, taking it a day at a time. So long as it remains a Good Thing and Little Happy, I’m in. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy it.